Law Enforcement


A law enforcement program will prepare students to enter a career at federal, state or local police departments. Professionals with a law enforcement education will be a staple in any economy, as preventing and apprehending criminals is part of keeping a community safe.

Students will learn about police department structure, justice laws and criminal prosecution. They will have an understanding of how a modern day law enforcement agency operates in its daily responsibilities between departments and different levels of government. The ethics of policing will also be emphasized, as well as the relationship between a community and its police force.


Law enforcement programs can be offered as stand-alone degrees and certificates. Students can also earn a criminal justice degree with a concentration in law enforcement.

Although it’s not typically required, it’s recommended that applicants have an associate or bachelor’s degree in law enforcement to be promoted. It will also be helpful for police officers already on the job that are looking to become detectives, or transfer into specialized fields. Law enforcement degrees focus on the administrative end of policing, so they’re advantageous for detectives or officers in executive positions.

A degree will also help applicants stand out for selection in a very competitive hiring process. It will typically take two years to complete an associate’s degree and four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.


These are some common classes you would enroll in while studying law enforcement:

  • Crisis Intervention for Police
  • Crime Analysis
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Management in Criminal Justice Organizations
  • Criminal Law
  • Effective Community Policing
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Juvenile Justice


A law enforcement program must be accredited by a regional association and the U.S. Department of Education’s regional accreditation program. It should be recognized by the state board of police officer standards. Attending an accredited school ensures you’re getting the best quality education and necessary courses to prepare you for a successful career.


With an education in law enforcement you can pursue these jobs:

  • Police Officer
  • Sheriff’s Deputy
  • Conservation Officer
  • Detective
  • State Trooper
  • Security Guard
  • Fish and Game Warden
  • Border Patrol Agent


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